[HELP] Plan A Flight with NO Google Map Data


I am trying to plan a flight in an area where there is no google map data available. Could someone please advise on how I go about this? How can I set the flight path if I cannot define the boundaries of the area?

Here is what I mean:


I want to map in the blurry area but I cannot define any landmarks.

Many thanks.

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You could always do the walk the site plan. Basically get your tablet/phone and open the DD app and walk around the boundary limits you want to fly. This also ensure there is no obstructions and/or allows you to determine the Altitude you would need to fly.

You could try going into Google Earth and see if the view is any different, if it’s visible in in Google Earth you can sect the Flight boundary and export the area as a KML file. Then you import the KML file into DD to setup the flight path.

If you have a CAD system, you could export to KML.

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I would recommend creating a polygon KML in Google Earth Pro as well and then importing it into the map plan in DroneDeploy. Very easy.

As for the map problem, what kind of device and internet connection are you using?


Thanks for the input guys.

The site is 46 hectares with some areas of very thick brush so not practical to walk the site. Both Google Earth and Google Earth Pro show no more details for that area than what is provided by Google Maps.

I see no map data both on my home PC with wired 100mb/s connection or out on the field with a Samsung S9+.

Any other suggestions?

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Can you PM me an address or set of coordinates?

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Sure the starting point would be: 5°07’59.3"N 73°39’04.8"W


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Wow, you have allot of clouds! Try using historical imagery in Google Earth Pro. You should be able to find one as long as you’re not lookin gfor specific structure that may not have been built yet. Polygon to KML and then KML into DroneDeploy.

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Google Earth - 2016 map

You can dray your flight in Google Earth then export as KML file and import into DD


@GregO @MichaelL Thank you very much for your input guys.

I have managed to find some data in historical images for the site and have been able to draw a polygon that encompasses the site which is 56 hectares.

Now that I have this my questions are as follows:

  1. I plan on first doing a high altitude pass of the site at around 150m to get an updated map. Is there a way of placing my start point on drone deploy as the one shown in the picture? At the moment when I import the .kml DD places the start point randomly in a corner of the polygon.

  2. Once I have gotten the updated overview what is the best way to map the area at better resolution (2cm/px)? I was planning on dividing the area into ten 7 hectare sections but I do not know if DD is later able to stitch these 10 sections into one map later in processing?

  3. If I overshoot the boundaries is it possible to trim the map later once stitched to just show the land required?

Thank you.

I will try to answer a few of the questions:

  1. Yes and No. DD will always start on a boundary corner to do the flight path. But there is a way to start a mission starting at a specific photo point. Example: Lets say there is 600 photos going to be taken and the Start location you identified is at photo 120, you can set the mission to start at 120. The only issue is it won’t get the photos 1 to 119.

  2. You can fly 10 different missions and then copy all the photos in one directory (pending different file names) and upload all 10 missions as one big flight. DD doesn’t know if it’s 1 mission or a 1000 missions. DD does allow to add additional photos to a Map, the only thing (I haven’t tried) is if you uploaded 1 mission to start with and then add another mission to expand the Map and then repeat the adding additional images one mission at a time until all 10 missions have been added. I normally add all the mission photos together and do it all at one time.

  3. Yes you can crop the boundary after you process the Map. On the left sidebar you will see a date of the flight and next to it is a (i), Click the (i) and that will bring up the Map Information. On that info page you will see a Calibrate and Corp Icons (mid way down), Click Crop and draw the polygon around the boundary and then the Map will be cropped.

Hopefully this will help

Hi @ncarvajal, I’m glad you were able to find what you needed.

  1. Unfortunately you cannot start in the middle of a job oh, it has to be on the perimeter. The closest I can get to your location was on the east side of the perimeter and I aligned the flight path with the West property line. That was approximately -47deg.

  1. I was able to map at 400ft (122m) and stay withing the range of one battery and 1.4in/px. I would go for about 1in/px at 285ft (87m) and forget about the higher flight. You should be able to accomplish this on 2 batteries.

  1. Yes, you can change the crop area by hitting the “i” at the top left of the left pane by the date of the mission.


Happy flying!

**Haha, @GregO sneaky…

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